A review of the new Photosonix ColorTrack Pro and a few suggestions for L/S consumers
I have owned a Photosonix Nova Pro 100 L/S machine for approximately 6 years. I use my machine at least twice a day to relax and unwind, re energize, to explore other states, and for just plain enjoyment. Frequently my wife and I use the Nova Pro100 together – a feature on my machine for dual users.
Over time, I have acquired the following glasses for use with my L/S machine:
- Photosonix – True White
- Photosonix – Cool Blue
- Photosonix – Standard Red
- Mind Gear – Multicolor Glasses (10 color-toggle switches)
- Photosonix – ColorTrack Pro.
|The new ColorTrack Pro are indeed expensive with a current retail price of approximately $199. My wife convinced me to treat myself to them and so far, they are proving to be worth every penny!|
I have been completely satisfied with all of my Photosonix equipment over the years, as it has consistently been very reliable, despite my occasional gravity tests, and regardless of heavy usage. In addition to being well constructed, Photosonix’s equipment doesn’t become obsolete six months after you buy it. My Nova Pro 100 after many years is still considered a top of the line machine, and the glasses I have had for years are still sold. I respect that.
So – let’s get down to the ColorTrack Pro. Despite thinking that the name ColorTrack four sounded trendy at first, I really do love both the product and the features. The ColorTrack Pro are pre-programmed with 20 vivid color presets ranging from reds, blues, greens, golds, to purples, (basically the spectrum of colors), along with the actual ColorTrack four function.
The ColorTrack fours have two switches mounted right on the glasses which you push for easy adjustments during a session. One switch changes the actual color you want, (20 of them are available along with the ColorTrack four option) while the other switch adjusts the actual brightness.
This is nice, as you do not need to reach for the machine to adjust the brightness. If two people have adjustable glasses – or two ColorTrack Pro – each person can customize their own session. They also come with a detachable cord, which is nice if somehow the cord were to be damaged.
COLORTRACK: When you begin a L/S session if you enable the ColorTrack four feature, the glasses will display the color that corresponds to the frequency of the session you are currently running as it moves through that session.
|This makes for many interesting color changes during a session. The blues tend to come out and play during lower frequencies, the reds dance during higher ones etc. The combination of vivid color and broader spread across the glasses seems to lend itself to more lively shapes and patterns, even dimensions. In all, it has made the sessions more powerful for me.|
This makes for many interesting color changes during a session. The blues tend to come out and play during lower frequencies, the reds dance during higher ones etc. The combination of vivid color and broader spread across the glasses seems to lend itself to more lively shapes and patterns, even dimensions. In all, it has made the sessions more powerful for me.
BRIGHTNESS: This is the only potential problem I have found with these glasses thus far. If you are a person that typically has their LED glasses at full brightness, you might find the ColorTrack Pro to be a bit subdued. The ColorTrack Pro are bright enough for my wife and I, but are not as bright as the other models I have, except for the multicolor Mind-Gear glasses of about the same output.
Even so, they do seem to provide slightly better patterns and visuals and, from my experience, visuals are better without full on brightness. I felt compelled to mention this, as it could be an issue to some people, such as a visually impaired person.
LIGHT: I think the overall light output is about 75% to 80% of that of my other Photosonix glasses, which is probably fine for most users.
|I have seen them advertised somewhere as being about the brightest L/S glasses out there. Based on my perception, that does not seem accurate. However, they are clearly the most entertaining glasses I have used.|
DOWNLOADABLE: I understand that future computer downloads for these glasses are planned, just as sessions are now for the Nova Pro 100, from Photosonix. I presume this will enable more color options.
FUN WITH COLORTRACK: Where this option is really a fun feature in my opinion is when you opt to pipe in music of your own choosing by way of the audio – not microphone – input jack on the Nova Pro 100. This is a neat option if you are using a Nova Pro 100 or a L/S machine that will let you input music and triggers the lights.
Since I am only familiar with the Nova Pro 100, you must be in manual operator mode or the audio signal just mixes in with a session and will not be picked up to trigger the lights. Additionally, when the Nova Pro 100 is in manual mode it will shut off every 15 minutes. This audio function was one I did not know the machine would do solo and without sessions, as I thought it would only trigger the lights with an AudioStrobe encoded CD.
AudioStrobe is a specialized CD with encoded information on the CD that triggers the lights at certain times during playback by frequency, but for me, I always preferred the machine internal sessions to that of the AudioStrobe CD’s.
However, once I obtained the ColorTrack Pro, I experimented and tried to input regular, classic rock and other music to discover it too would trigger the lights and I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely it worked. It seems the machine triggers based on higher frequencies of the music, as some music works much better than other types.
|For example, I found, to name just a few, that music with drums and cymbals triggers it well, not the low end bass but higher end treble, even vocals sometimes. I had great success with a few songs, and have only tried a few so far, with aide by a slight increase in treble and moderate but not real high volume input from an external headphone jack on the other device.|
The following songs thus far worked very well by triggering a nice, visual multi-colored light show on ColorTrack four Mode:
- South City Midnight Lady (Doobie Brothers);
- Money (Pink Floyd);
- Stan (Eminem);
- The Mask (Hisham);
- Hellagood (No Doubt); and
- Leave it (Yes).
I will be trying many more. I am sure most songs with percussion and wide range will work well, but I wanted to give a few examples. The machine acts as a `Color Organ’ if you are old enough to recall what those were like, (giving away my age here). Whatever you wish to call it, it is a very entertaining and legal way to be entertained. Have fun with it.
CONCLUSION: I feel these ColorTrack Pro are the best overall value and performing glasses you can buy. They are clearly the most entertaining, with full control during sessions right on the glasses. They are downloadable and you will not outgrow them or tire of the color options and features. Further, Photosonix has good technical support and a nice web site with excellent links for interesting reading. I actually have another pair on order, so my wife and I can enjoy them at the same time.
The only possible problem I see is probably limited to people with diminished light vision or people that really like a bright set of glasses. For me, if adjusted to their brightest setting, they are more than adequate with output. Certainly standard glasses and the supplied Photosonix headphones work well, but if you add in these new ColorTrack Pro, and perhaps better headphones for music, I believe your experience will be highly enhanced for years to come.
|I am not affiliated with any company. I am a Social Worker and on a budget like most people. I write this as I noticed a lack of any reviews, which I know I, and others, look for when considering a product. So, I hope this helps.|
Good luck. Enjoy.
John Melnicoe, a personal user of light/sound equipment.